If you’ve read a newspaper or turned the news on over the past month, you’re sure to have heard about the Zika Virus.
What is the Zika Virus? The Zika Virus is a disease that is spread by mosquito. Zika is currently spreading in Mexico and several South American Countries. Click this link to view all countries where Zika is currently spreading: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/active-countries.html
What are the symptoms? There are many symptoms of Zika. Some of the most common symptoms include: fever, joint pain, red eyes, rash, headache, and muscle pain. It can take anywhere between a few days and a week from exposure to the virus to develop symptoms. The symptoms of Zika are typically mild and do not require hospitalization.
How is treated? If you have Zika, it is important to treat any symptoms you may be experiencing.
· Tylenol can be helpful in reducing pain and fever.
· Water to prevent and treat dehydration
· Taking NSAIDs like Aspirin or Ibuprofen is NOT recommended.
How can I prevent getting the Zika Virus? How can I prevent spreading the Zika Virus?
You can prevent getting the Zika Virus by protecting yourself against mosquito bites in areas where Zika is spreading. You can do this by: wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants. If possible, stay where there are windows or screens to keep mosquitos out. Use insect repellant according to directions on the bottle. Also, use mosquito netting as appropriate.
If you have Zika, you can prevent the spread of Zika by staying away from any mosquitos during the first week of your illness. This is important because if you have Zika and get bit by a mosquito, the mosquito that bit you can bite someone else and give them Zika.
Zika & Pregnancy The Zika Virus can be harmful to the pregnant woman’s unborn child. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends that pregnant women should postpone any travel to any area where Zika is spreading. If travel is necessary, it is important for the woman to talk with her doctor about steps to prevent developing Zika. Why is this important? There appears to be a link between the Zika Virus and a condition known as microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than is expected. This condition can cause significant long term health issues including: hearing loss, decreased vision, and intellectual disabilities.
Want to know more about the Zika Virus? Visit www.cdc.gov